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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to North America. For those looking to relocate within the US or Canada, discuss your experiences and pros/cons of each domestic region.
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20100604/wl ... 4758/print
Mexico drug war doesn't stop Americans from moving south of the border
By Sara Miller Llana Sara Miller Llana
Fri Jun 4, 11:14 am ET
MÃ©rida, Mexico â€“ Bill Engle is outside, sweating in work clothes while he oversees renovations to his colonial house in MÃ©rida, Mexico. It sits on a street dubbed "Gringo Gulch," a pretty row of baby blue, violet, and mustard facades where expatriates outnumber Mexicans.
"It is not the climate," says Mr. Engle, explaining why he moved to the YucatÃ¡n Peninsula. "It is the people. It is the most welcoming place."
Americans scared off by violence in Mexico? Not here.
In towns far from the US border such as MÃ©rida, Mexico's drug wars seem like another world. In fact, according to a recent survey by the International Community Foundation, violence reduced the frequency or duration of trips to Mexico for only 7 percent of American retirees who live or travel frequently to Mexico.
No one knows how many foreign retirees, entrepreneurs, and families relocated to MÃ©rida in recent years, but judging from real estate deals, new members to the English-language library, and observations by locals, it is not a few â€“ nor is it ebbing.
'As safe as Seattle'"I feel more part of a community here and safer or as safe here as I did in Seattle," says Martha Lindley, a retired chaplain and lawyer who moved here three years ago.
Of 5.25 million Americans living abroad, 1 million are estimated to live south of the border. Some communities, such as San Miguel de Allende (a Heritage Site in central Mexico), seem virtual US suburbs. MÃ©rida is becoming a magnet as transplants rush to buy old mansions and haciendas from the 19th century boom in henequen (a fiber used to make rope).
"I do not feel any violence here," says Dan Karnes, a retired lawyer from New Orleans who moved here last year. He purchased an 18th-century colonial mansion, last used as a warehouse, and on a recent day was overseeing workers digging a pool foundation and laying an oval courtyard. When done, Mr. Karnes will boast an 18,300-square-foot home.
MÃ©rida housing market rebounds with retireesMÃ©rida became a hot destination five years ago, says Mitch Keenan of Mexico International Real Estate. He's sold homes here for 15 years. While the global recession hurt sales, he says the market is rebounding and sending in more well-heeled retirees.
With America's baby boomers retiring, potential for further growth is huge. The International Community Foundation found that Mexico remains their retirees' No. 1 travel destination. The possible extension of Medicare benefits to Americans who retire abroad could further fuel that.
Ellen Fields and her husband, Jim, run the site YucatÃ¡nliving.com and help expatriates settle here. "It is so neighborly," she says. She once left her keys in her door; instead of getting robbed, the keys got returned.
Locals say foreigners blend easily with the city's 1 million residents.
Alvaro Martinez and Sara Lopez, who moved to "Gringo Gulch" 70 years ago, long before it earned its nickname, are one of two Mexican families on the street. "They are good neighbors, there are never any problems," says Mr. Lopez, his arm draped around his wife. "They are moving in all around us."
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o.O! You want to drive to Yucatan??
I think it'd be much, much faster to just fly.
Duh! Note that word 'hypothetically' I stuck in there.
I don't know about the trains, but the bus route should take you to Mexico City and you will head to Merida from there, but I cannot imagine it is much fun. I would certainly fly.
Retirees in Mexico? A few really blend in with locals, but the fast majority live in Gringo enclaves, relatively insulated from the population. The trendy destinations are anything but cheap- parts of the USA are cheaper. So far as I can tell, most like it for
the weather (usually quite good, better than the Philippines in many areas) a bit of flavor (Not too much now...) and cheap housekeepers. On the upside is the fact that it is comparatively close to the USA. My costs in the Philippines really are cheap, even compared to Mexico, but for must Americans, it is simply not on the map of retirement destinations. For single retired men the Philippines can be quite good, but I cannot imagine many women liking it, though I have met a few who did.
On the bright side, I have met a few retired Americans in Mexico that lived there and enjoyed it, and also supported some good local charities, which as always in dire straights there.
http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/06/09 ... americans/
In Mexico, people hear about the drug violence all the time, but they usually perceive it as "normal" and don't worry about it. Heck, they even celebrate it, with narcocorridos constantly blaring in the streets.
But on the other hand, why is no one avoiding Los Angeles, since that's the gang capital of the entire USA? Americans perceive gang violence as normal in the US and aren't freaked out by it.
Not to mention America's notoriously dangerous freeways: nearly every single American drives them daily, yet the accident rate isn't exactly so comforting.
American propaganda at work.